“The truth is, unless a woman has ever been a man for a single day in her life she can never ever tell you what a real man is and should do. It’s just her opinion but you as the man must be able to tell right from wrong because 99% of the time she just wants you to love and respect her!” Mike Maphoto
I think every woman has wished this before, possibly at the end of a relationship to have known or had some kind of warning mechanism as to what type of man she ended up with. Imagine there being a manual from the very beginning that tells you whether he is a lying, cheating, stealing, stingy and abusive husband! If it was there I am more than certain it will be the best selling female product in the world unless you from those country that don’t allow women to have the freedom of choice! There would be less broken hearts and it would point you to the right man at the right time. However, if wishes were politics then Terror Lekota would be president someday, sigh! That’s never going to happen. Instead we have to put ourselves out there every day just to get our hearts broken over and over again. I am not entirely blaming men because often our mishaps as women come from our bad judgement. Oh trust me on this one, when it comes to women, relationships and bad judgment, we gel like soft n free and black people! Imagine meeting Simba especially now when I was thinking all these thoughts after what had just happened with Sfiso! Why must my timing always be tricky like this?
“Thank you for introducing yourselves yesterday to us! I had to drop everything to come hear why he was so excited!”
He said. That made me feel self-conscious because yes I knew what my company did but we had not even prepared a presentation.
“We don’t have a presentation for you as yet sir, unfortunately!”
I kind of got the feeling of how it feels when someone you used to call boss now is under you. At the wedding he had felt disrespected and now I was calling him sir. How the roles have changed? I had not been anti immigrants at all but it had come out like that and now I was facing my demons.
“Unfortunately for now you will have to wing it because I won’t be in the country for the next two weeks and my schedule is quite unclear from then on!”
He said casually, sitting down opening his jacket button. I could not even look him in the eye. Of all the companies we had to woo why did it have to be with his company though? It almost felt like this was a cruel and unusual punishment.
It was then I noticed Nicolene. She was walking towards us with purpose but with a huge smile on her face.
“Sorry gentlemen, I just found us a room we can discuss properly.”
She said. I had even forgotten that we were in the arena with many other companies brokering deals and the traffic was quite heavy.
“That’s even better.”
“Unless you guys really have nothing to present and we can call it a day!”
He continued. He was tightening the screws. Had he recognized me and was doing this to spite me! He seemed so business like and there was no warmth in his tone. This felt personal.
“Don’t worry, the ladies are ready to present!”
Susanna suddenly said. I could see by the wry smile on her face that she was setting me up to fail. I don’t know how Nicolene had pulled it off but one of the stewards followed her and directed us to the room we could discuss privately. This was happening now.
“This is so much better!”
The presentation was more like a cut and paste affair but we know our work well enough to have been angle to wing. Even Susanna must have been impressed because at time she added where were looking. As for the client I was not sure what they thought as I said I did not even look them in the eye when I stood in front of them.
“I am not sure how much we can start with but my issue is capacity of our clients and quality. Is it possible to get samples before we sign!”
Mr. Mckay asked towards the end. Susanna again chipped in and said we could provide which I was not sure of. I did not dispute her though and that worked very well for me. Unity at some point helped us get better with this.
“I think we have heard enough but would you be the one heading our account?”
He asked me in front of everyone! I did not want to head this account. I did not want to work with him. I just wanted to go home at this stage! Too much pressure!
“I am not sure because obviously the company has protocols so someone else might be assigned to it!”
I said. Forgotten now was the little speech I had given Rudzani on how we should always make sure that we get credit for our work.
“Oh no, the project is theirs sir!”
Susanna chirped in sealing my fate. If we got this I would have to work with him directly.
“If that’s the case, thank you guys for the presentation! We have a decision to make now. Can I please have the room with Ms. Mbatha here so we can discuss timelines?”
Did he just ask me to stay behind? He was definitely going to remember me this time I told myself. Rudzani had to stay too but guess what; she was the first one out! Why did this girl not like taking responsibility mara?
Alone at last he broke the silence,
“That was well done! I must say at some point I did not think you would pull it off after the way you were so nervous!”
He said with a wry smile on his face.
“Yes Sir I …”
“You can drop the sir nonsense. You know who I am; I know who you are, from the wedding!”
He said and my head just sunk low! I was so ashamed even though I was not guilty of what he accused me of!
“I must say I did not think you would know who I was!”
I said casually. After that meeting I had just had that’s the best I could have said.
“You mean after the way you were so rude to me at the wedding?”
He said. Dude chill, the wedding was a long time ago and today we were trying to make a business deal.
“I am sorry about that.”
I said but I didn’t fully mean it. He had been hasty that day and quick to judge me which was wrong on his part. He should have waited and listened but no, he jumped to conclusions.
“It’s fine! I have learned to accept that to a lot of South African women, if you are not from here then you are not worthy of talking to them!”
I was looking for a good come back but this self-pitying guy was not Sfiso so it was not as easy come to think of it. Not easy at all!
“I am not a lot of South African women thank heavens, my name is Lungile Mbatha and I am a bio chemist!”
I said stretching out my hand as though we were meeting for the first time. He was taken by surprise with that and he smiled!
“And I am Simbarashe Tizora and I am a physicist”
He said calmly but with the smile on his face! I know we had already met but I was trying to give us a fresh start!
“Your team gave a very good presentation considering how impromptu it was. I must say we have had a lot of people who I can tell you this now, most were against this nuclear energy deal but because the government is forcing it, are now trying to make money for you!”
He continued going straight to business. I liked this. I could talk chemicals any day meaning we ended up engaging in a topic that was full of politics and numbers. He could carry himself well in a conversation which was a bonus and at some point I flagged over Susanna and my team to join the conversation. I was sealing this deal and I wanted Susanna to see me do it.
“I am curious to know, why did you ask if you could work with me? A lot of companies prefer to work with the bosses as it cuts the red tape quickly.”
I asked him.
“How else will I see you if I didn’t ask? You wouldn’t talk to me at the wedding and now I believe you don’t have a choice!”
He said with a cheesy smile.
“Mr. Tizora mixing business with pleasure is never considered wise!”
I told him putting my serious face and tone on.
“I know it’s not but I reckon if we don’t have fun working together we will never have fun otherwise!”
He said. Already and automatically I was comparing him to the fool that had left on the plane, Sfiso. He had not even left South African Airspace I am sure and here I was already talking to another man in what was clearly going to be more than just work. I did not want him like that; I was not looking for a relationship after what I had just experienced.
“Ok that’s fine, I don’t mind and again I am really sorry about the wedding!”
I said to him and he just shrugged his shoulders as he started to pack his case. I immediately noticed that he was not married, he had no ring.
“Stop it Lungi!”
I shouted inwardly to myself. When you are my age and are actively looking for marriage material unfortunately you are always on the lookout. It becomes instinct to look at men like meat in black tuxedo!
“So we will communicate. I already have your numbers and mine are in the notes.”
He said and with that he walked out. He was not as charming and witty as Sfiso I thought as he walked out. Immediately I took a deep sigh of relief as that overwhelming tension I had felt at the beginning of the day left me. I could not even get a moment peace because my team immediately walked in after he left.
“That was well done Lungile. I hope you made sure by next week we would be signing!”
Susanna said shaking my hand. That was very weird her giving me credit like this but you know what, for now I could take it!
“I am going to speak to the board and have them approve it. You did well. I am impressed! You guys can go home. I think you have more than achieved today. That includes you Nicolene!”
She said. She stood up and she walked out. Must have taken her a lot to come off her high horse and be humbled like this.
“I think I am going to leave now too.”
Nicolene said but I immediately said,
“Nicolene wait, I need to talk to the both of you!”
Meaning her and Rudzani!
“Ok what’s on your mind?”
I could see Rudzani shaking her head because I think she had an idea of what I wanted.
“It’s obvious that we work well together and we like working with you!”
I pointed out.
She said but I could see she was not flattered. Had she been flattered she would have blushed, a weakness in white people fortunately making anyone know their true feelings.
“It’s obvious that Susanna is playing you against us and us against you …”
She did not even jump up and deny,
“But it’s something we can’t stop. You need to pick a side, hers or ours because we really want to work with you in harmony. Please go home and consider this!”
I told her. She smiled and said that I was worried about nothing, she was just following orders but when we did not smile back, she knew we were not playing.
In future I would look back and realize that this conversation would come back to haunt us!
****** The End*****
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Hello Mike and Family
I would like the DOAZG family to assist me with finding a decent and affordable apartment to rent. I’m a 23-year old lady staying at Vanderbijlpark but I got in-service training at Eastrand, Tembo Memorial Hospital; so I’ll be moving to Boksburg East next month. I’ll be earning very less, if anything at all so please do provide with options that aren’t gonna be too harsh on my pocket. Anything from 2 to 3-bedroom flat is preferable.
Have a good day everyone 🙂
Dear Mike ,
I have followed your blog and stories since the inception of DOAZ and I have seen you grow phenomenally as a writer.
Thank you soo so much for sharing your amazing talent with us on a daily basis. You are truly incredible ( don’t let that get to your head though, lol)
Okay so here is my story. I will try and keep it short.
I am 29 and my boyfriend is 33. We have a 1 year 7 months old beautiful baby girl. We started living together last year October.
Okay so we started dating in 2013 August and he was working. January 2014 he lost his job. I supported him financially so he doesn’t feel that gap of him not working,
So I would take him out, buy him clothes and sometimes give him money to drink with his friends.
January 2015 he got a job ( not paying much). So January 2016 he suggested we split the responsibilities at home, I pay rent and he pays for our child’s crèche and groceries. But now, he expects me to do most of the things because I earn more money than him ( which isn’t all that much) and I told him that I have debts to pay off.
I feel like he is soo selfish because he wants me to do all the things that I used to do for him when he wasn’t working even though he is working now. We don’t go out unless I suggest we do and I have to pay obviously. Even buying me airtime is something that I have to ask from him. I buy him gifts all the time ( father’s day, Birthday, Christmas and just njee randomly) but yena dololo….till this day he has never gotten me a gift ( as in buy something for me and wrap it ,then give it to me…nothing. He doesn’t cuddle me, he doesn’t kiss me passionately ( I had to ask him to do all these things for me and to me) Like is this normal?? Do some guys need a crash course on how to handle women?? He didn’t really date a lot of girls ( so he tells me ) he isn’t romantic , and I am ( and I think thats another major factor for us)…and for me if you are in a relationship and inlove, that should spark some romance in a person, right?? I don’t know what to do with this man, I feel like I am compromising my happiness being with him because all he wants is for me to make him happy, do everything for him and yet he doesn’t return the favour. I once told him that he lives his life like he’s single yet he wants all the benefits of having a wife? I have spoken to him and nothing seems to be changing.
Should I teach this man how to love and treat me or should I walk away and find myself someone who can actually read me and know what I like and don’t like without having to tell him EVERYTHING!!
He had a rough childhood, like really rough and his mom was not around to “teach him” how to treat a woman. Could that also be a factor in how he expresses love, or the lack of in his case?? Does him not having a point of reference in relationships and stuff have now an effect on him on how he responds and how he views relationships….Does him growing never having anything make him the selfish person he is and he just enjoys being spoilt and taken care of and not think that I too want to spoilt and taken care of?? I don’t know what to do with him